How Emotions Are Made

The Secret Life of the Brain This month’s Great Read is by a researcher who has upended the entire study of emotions. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a professor of Psychology and a groundbreaking brain researcher who has led us into a new understanding of how the brain works, how emotions work, and why so many of our accepted ideas about the brain are mistaken or just … Read More

The Age of Empathy

A Primatologist Explores the Development of Empathy in Primates This month’s Great Read is a wonderful exploration of the deep roots of empathy in our primate cousins by Sir Frans de Waal. Dr. de Waal began his study of primates by watching for violence, conflict, and warring behaviors, but he soon realized that there were just as many soothing, comforting, fight-avoiding, and consolation behaviors among the … Read More

Why We Believe What We Believe

Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth This month’s Great Read delves into beliefs — why we have them, how they work, and what purpose they play. Andrew Newberg is a professor of Radiology and Psychiatry who studied the brain scans of people as they prayed, meditated, and spoke in tongues. Why We Believe What We Believe is a fascinating journey into the cognitive … Read More

The Promise of Sleep

A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night’s Sleep This month’s Great Read is a classic written by a pioneer in the field of sleep, the late, great Dr. William Dement Dr. Dement was one of the earliest specialists in sleep science, and he was the founder and director of the Stanford University Sleep Research Center. Besides providing … Read More

Supersense

Why We Believe in the Unbelievable This month’s Great Read helps us look at superstitions not as signs of ignorance, but as signs of our brains working in unusual ways to make sense of the world. If you lost your wedding ring, and I offered to replace it with an exact and shiny new duplicate, would you accept it — or would your previous ring carry … Read More

Doubt: A History

The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson This month’s Great Read is a startling exploration of the history of doubters, doubt, apostacy, atheism, and Jennifer Michael Hecht is a philosopher, historian, and poet who chronicles the history of doubt in this well-researched and beautifully-written book. In Doubt: A History, we learn that doubt has always … Read More

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson This month’s Great Read is a classic by social psychologists and researchers Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson, who present a readable, direct, and often uncomfortable(!) explanation of cognitive dissonance – which is our human tendency to hold onto flawed ideas or behaviors even when all of the data suggest that … Read More

The Body Has a Mind of its Own

How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better, by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee This month’s Great Read is a marvelous book about your body’s proprioceptive system, which helps you map and locate your body in space. This book helped Karla McLaren reframe the aura so that the concept of boundaries could be accessible to everyone. Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee are science … Read More

The Gift of Fear

And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker This month’s Great Read can help you access the genius in your fear and anxiety. Gavin de Becker is a security expert who tells us how to work with our innate intuition — our fear — so that we can detect and avoid violence. The Gift of Fear is a wonderful handbook for … Read More

Embracing Anxiety

How to Access the Genius of This Vital Emotion by Karla McLaren This month’s Great Read is a book we’re excited to share! It’s Karla McLaren’s brand new book about the gifts and skills your anxiety brings to you. Embracing Anxiety is an in-depth guide to the emotion Karla calls “your task-completion expert.” She helps you work with anxiety directly and identify the many other emotions … Read More

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